The Yuma Catholic baseball team's dream season came to a close in a 5-3 extra-innings loss to No. 17 Pima on Friday night.
The Shamrocks took a 2-2 tie into extra frames and staved off a bases-loaded, one-out threat from Pima in the top of the eighth inning, but were stopped in their tracks in the bottom half.
After starting the top of the ninth with a hit batter and a walk, a few defensive miscues and two wild pitches gave Pima a 5-2 lead. Yuma Catholic scored one more in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn't enough as Pima pulled off the upset.
“It was just one of those games,” Yuma Catholic coach Curt Foppe said. “Their pitcher stymied us and we had some opportunities, but we didn't jump on him when we had a chance. We had a few errors in some crucial situations and you just can't do that in playoff baseball, and it cost us in the end.”
Strong defense and a potent offense led Yuma Catholic to a 17-1 regular season record and a No. 1 seed in the state tournament.
“Defense has been our strong point all year,” Foppe said. “It kind of reared its ugly head and we didn't make a couple plays when we needed to make plays. Sometimes it happens, and today it happened to us.”
Yuma Catholic has a sophomore-laden roster, and Foppe hopes his players can take some positives away from the game.
“The youth doesn't take away the feeling of being heartbroken right now,” Foppe said. “Tonight was a learning experience. If we're going to take something positive away from it, we're going to use it as a learning experience going into next season.”
Zach Boehler and Alex Olsen each recorded multi-hit games for Yuma Catholic.
“These guys had a heck of a season,” Foppe said. “Tonight doesn't take anything away from that. It's just unfortunate that we got beat tonight.”